The new puppy has arrived! He is adorable, sweet, cuddly, loveable, and eats everything in sight. We are learning that reading books and watching The Dog Whisperer is not the same as experiencing things for yourself.
Perhaps I should take this to heart. Like all of us, I excel in certain subjects (Language, Music) and--what’s the opposite of excel? You’d think if I was so great at Language that I would be able to come up with the perfect word here. Let’s just say that I’m not so hot in other subjects (Math, Science). After many failed science experiments (there’s a whole slew of blog post ideas right there), I’ve settled on reading through the experiment with my kids and then watching someone else do the experiment on the TV. Hey, presto! Foolproof science experiments with all the boring assembly and waiting for things to happen bits cut out. But is it the same thing?
Puppy life would say no. No matter how much you read about how your 9 week old puppy needs to potty at least once a night, it’s not the same as waking up night after night to walk him. Reading about how puppies like to chew is no preparation for bringing home a tiny shark with fur. And being warned about the ingestion of non-food items is not the same as seeing a Lego block disappear down a Sarlac-like mouth or finding out that the tree you’ve been letting your pup chew on is actually a toxic holly tree.
In my defense, I didn’t want the tree in the first place. The lawn crew that planted our yard had a few extra “free” trees and stuck them in our yard to be nice. I was super grateful about that when I was on the phone with the vet, worried about a vomiting puppy, and mentally calculating how much that “free” tree was going to cost me in an emergency vet visit. Also, in my defense, you can add Botany to my list of subjects that I don’t excel in. I can tell a palm tree from a pine tree, but beyond that I’ve never really had the time to learn, seeing as plants die so quickly under my “care.” I decided long ago that keeping anything but grass was just plant abuse. Said holly tree is now just a trunk with a few scraggly branches on the top since I took out my frustration and worry with a pair of clippers.
My point is, perhaps if I had done more hands-on science with the kids, I would have known that ingested red berries can cause copious vomiting in dogs, and that, as I am not a falconiforme (aha! I did learn something in science!), I will fail at watching my pup like a hawk. However, I was able to teach my kids how to disinfect a tile floor (Thank God for tile!), how to chop down a tree like Paul Bunyan, and how a quick visit to Amazon Prime can have a puppy safe play-yard delivered to your home in 2 days with free shipping.
Thankfully, puppy Po (from Kung Fu Panda “Big and furry, soft and squishy, sort of plush and cuddly”) is alright. His tummy is back to normal and we have, hopefully, learned an important lesson in puppy care!
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You know that family that shows up to church in the 15 passenger van? The one that homeschools? Ever wondered how they make it through the day or wished you could be a fly on the wall of their house? Well, I'm inviting you in. I'm 36 and I ride herd on 8 children (oldest is 12), 3 cats, 2 bearded dragons, and one puppy. It's loud, chaotic, and imperfect. Welcome to Life in the Big House!